For 2022, I’ve been wanting to write more ‘creature features’ and generally improve my short story writing. My partner got me a Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual for my birthday so I came up with the idea of writing a story every week based on a different creature from that – All There in the (Monster) Manual. Hope you enjoy!
This Week’s Inspiration: Halfling
The little people live in tunnels beneath your house! The little people eat and play and pray. You should learn all you can about the little people while you have the chance!
The little people live underground, in tunnels below your house! They’re short and hairy, with stubby legs and stubby arms with stubby fingers. Their eyes are almost blind but their hearing is very sharp and they have a great sense of smell!
The little people are simple. They eat mushrooms and worms and bugs they find in the dirt! They wear clothes made from moss and sleep on beds made of rocks. Their tunnels can go for miles and miles, and are very, very deep!
The little people are cautious. They only come out of the ground at night when you and I are sleeping! They take things that we won’t miss, like old shoes and broken toys. Plastic bottles and phone books and the lids from tupperware containers. They fill their homes with strange odds and ends they find in the world above!
The little people are fun! When they get together, they like to tell stories and sing songs and dance and wrestle! They play music on rusty pots and pans, and drink juice they make from special mushrooms!
The little people are pious. When they say they’ve found God, they really mean it! They dug deep into the earth and found God sleeping. But the little people’s God doesn’t answer prayers or reward good deeds. The little people’s God demands fealty. He demands sacrifice.
The little people have lived underfoot for long enough. They are done waiting in blackness. Their God calls for blood and they know just where to find it. The little people lurk just beneath the surface of all that we know. The little people are coming.
Sean: I do not like Halflings.
“Oh, we need another sentient race for this setting. What if there were like, people, but they were… half?”
“We could call them Halflings?”
“Meeting fucking adjourned, we have peaked for the day. Absolutely nailed it.”
That isn’t to say I don’t like Hobbits – perfectly fine race of creatures, excellent books. And obviously Dungeons & Dragons and a lot of fantasy took their cues from Tolkein when it came to Elves and Dwarfs and, my favourites, Orcs, even Treefolk, but Halflings is where it crosses the line into a little too derivative for me. This may be hypocritical as I’ve now spent fifty-two weeks deriving stories from Dungeons & Dragons.
So, I was busy thinking about how much I do not like Halflings and this slightly twisted version came to me. One of those stories I just had to get out right away before the magic left. Given the last few weeks have been very long stories and I decided to release my original final story idea last week for Christmas, I thought this would be a really nice, short and sweet one to go out on. I really liked The Borrowers when I was a kid and really just anything that involved tiny creatures living hidden amongst us, building little lives out of our scrap, so there were some aspects of that as well.Thank you so much for reading! If you’ve only stumbled across this page recently, well, there are plenty more stories you can find out on the main page if you just keep scrolling! Really appreciate everyone who has given these stories a read and dropped a like or some feedback. It’s been a big journey and I’ll probably come back with some thoughts on it next week. There will be more stories in the very near future I promise so watch this space or you can find updates on Facebook and Twitter! Hope you’re having a great end to 2022 and are looking forward to exciting things in 2023!